Go to Home Page GuidesHow to ArticlesReviewsForumsFrequently Asked QuestionsNewsLinksPotpourri

Site Search


Last updated: 11/16/99

If you are looking for a high-capacity, high-performance hard disk drive, Western Digital's WD273BA 27.3 GByte drive is big, fast, quiet, and cool.

I recently installed WD273BA hard disk in a  computer with an AMD 650 Mhz Athlon processor, MSI MS-6167 motherboard, and 128 MBytes of memory and this drive (and the motherboard) performs.  Here are the bench marks:

WINBENCH 99 (v. 1.1)

WinBench 99/Business Disk WinMark 99 (Thousand Bytes/Sec) 4700
WinBench 99/High-End Disk WinMark 99 (Thousand Bytes/Sec) 16500


Cached Disk 124.7276 MB/s
Uncached Disk 4.644541 MB/s

HD TACH (v. 2.60)

Random Access Time 10.6 ms
Read Burst Speed 58.1 mbps
Read Speed - Max. 23,633.0 kbps
Read Speed - Min. 20,994.0 kbps
Read Speed - Avg. 22,588.6 kbps
CPU Utilization 6.2 %

The HD Tach Read Bust Speed is particularly telling.  At last, an ATA/66 drive (and motherboard) that nearly does ATA/66.

The above picture does not do the drive justice.  Its finely machined appearance stands-out when viewed along side some of the 5,400 RPM drives I have hanging around the shop.

In an open case the WD273BA is quite cool to the touch.  During normal operation it only draws about a 1/3 of an Amp and dissipates about 10 Watts of heat.  From it's low noise level, one wouldn't guess that those platters inside are whirring around at 7,200 RPM.  It generates about 38/45 dBA (idle/seek modes)  of noise which is between the 20 dBA of noise when someone whispers at five feet and the 60 dBA of normal conversation (the scale is logarithmic).

I had absolutely no problem installing Windows 98 SE on the drive.  I would, however, very strongly suggest giving some thought on how the drive should be partitioned before beginning.  If you think you would like one gigantic 27.3 GB C: drive, try defragging a 6.4 GB C: drive.  Also, drive performance decreases from first part of the drive to the last--the heads have to swing further.  A 4 GB C: drive would make a good compromise between capacity for Windows, programs, and frequently used data and performance. The drive in the beforementioned computer was part'd into a 4 GB C: drive and the remainder was allocated to the D: drive.

The WD273BA comes with a 3-year limited warrantee from a major manufacturer and is available in boxed-retail and OEM versions.

It's more drive than I need...


Specifications, etc.

Test Computer: AMD 650 Mhz Athlon processor, MSI MS-6167 motherboard, 1/2 MB cache' (part of the processor), 128 MB, 6 ns PC100 memory, Western Digital WD273BA hard disk, Windows 98 OEM SE with FAT32 file system (4 GB C: drive, defragged), Diamond Viper V770 Display Adapter with 32 MB.

WinStone and WinBench are registered trademarks or trademarks of Ziff-Davis Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.